✍ An update on the Cleaning fee Conundrum ✍

Beginning my home vacation rental journey in January 2014, there was no cleaning fee. Check it out: https://pineviewretreat.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/no-cleaning-fee-so-far-it-hasnt-hurt-me/

Nearing our year-and-half anniversary, I’ve changed my mind. Now there is a $50 charge — but — for 5 or more guests. “Why?” are you wondering?

Larger groups cooking and prepping a meal in our smaller, very organized kitchen can be a wee bit chaotic. It’s the only room in the house that needs half of the cleaning hours I spend to prep for guest arrival.

It’s tempting to list the typical ‘oops’ clean-up chores after a larger group has checked out. Will pass on the opportunity though, so I don’t sound like a complainer or a whiner. We’ve had family events in the house and cleaning after a larger group of guests is about the same. The only difference is that it adds another 2 hours to prep the kitchen for the next arrival. Let’s end that discussion with my saying, the $50 cleaning fee for 5+ guests is a necessary evil.

Time for my confession: Back in the day, before I knew what it was really like to run a vacation rental, I passed over vacation rentals I was considering if there was a cleaning fee. Now that is not always the case.

It’s easy to think the rental rate a host charges implies they’re making ‘money’. Consider a mortgage payment, taxes and utilities, guest and maintenance supplies, eventually replacing something worn or updating. Some hosts pay a cleaning service and the cleaning fee covers some or all of their cost. Some hosts include the cleaning cost as part of the rental rate, which might have me pass over a potential rental if the rate is higher than what I had in mind.

Now I appreciate that many vacation hosts, like me, are accruing home equity rather than gleaning a nice profit.

☼ It’s a new day ~ Time for Breakfast ☼

I can always count on Pinterest for new recipes. As much as I cherish owning real books with pages I can turn, cookbooks have become extinct in my library. You’ll find some ancient tomes in the center island cabinet at the house if it’s raining and you like reading through cookbooks.


Try Bacon Hash Browns for an easy, hearty breakfast that doesn’t require opening a can and needs only a handful of basic ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 5 cups frozen hash browns
  • 1/2 cup bell peppers, washed and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped onions
  • 3/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter
  • 6-8 strips bacon, cooked and drained
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt dash of pepper

Preheat oven to 350°.  Warm oil in a large skillet over medium low heat. Add frozen hash browns and cook about 5 minutes until brown. If you have a small pan, you may have to do this twice (with half the potatoes each time). While hash browns are cooking, grease a 9×13 baking pan with butter. Set aside.

Once the hash browns are lightly browned, remove the pan from heat and spread the hash brown mixture into the greased baking pan. Sprinkle with onion and green onions.

Then add the cheese and bacon by sprinkling on top of the pan. Sprinkle salt and pepper over casserole and bake for 10-12 minutes. Serve with a fried egg on the side or stacked on the hash.

My recommendations: Avoid splatter, cook the bacon with water added to the frying pan. Seasonings would make this dish even better! Garlic or thyme. Perhaps some paprika or chili pepper seeds for some heat.